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Stand By Me : The Forgotten History of Gay Liberation (Hardcover) (Jim Downs)
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A prominent historian rewrites the history of gay life in 1970s America, arguing that our ignorance of the true nature of gay liberation has had harmful and lasting consequencesIn Stand by Me, Jim Downs overturns the dominant narrative of gay life in the decade before the AIDS crisis, arguing that gay liberation was about much more than sex. The first historian to draw on a vast trove of untapped records at LGBT community centers in Los Angeles, New York, and Philadelphia, Downs tells a moving, revelatory story of gay life in the 1970s: of gay men and women establishing their own churches, founding their own newspapers, building their own bookstores, and writing their own histories and plays.But these achievements were largely forgotten after the arrival of HIV/AIDS, which allowed critics to claim that sex was the defining feature of the so-called gay lifestyle. This reductive narrative set back the cause of gay rights and shaped the identities of gay men and women for years afterwards. A necessary act of historical recovery,Stand By Me will transform how we think about gay life in American from the 1970s to the present day.